Disaster Preparedness for Seniors
While you may not want to think about the possibility of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. For seniors who live on their own, disaster preparedness is even more important. In the event of a flood, earthquake, prolonged power outage, or other disaster, help may be unable to reach you when you need it. The good news is that there are some things you can do to get ready for emergency situations. Here are a few disaster preparedness tips from the staff at Summerset Senior Living.
If you live on your own or you’re living with limited mobility, it can be difficult to get out of the house during an emergency to pick up supplies. You can get ready now by picking up a few things on your next trip to the grocery store. Stock up on non-perishable food items like canned goods and dried pasta as well as bottled water. Make sure you have a fully-stocked first aid kit that’s easily accessible. Candles, batteries, and flashlights also make a good addition to your disaster preparedness kit. You’ll also want to consider that, in an emergency situation you may need to leave your home quickly. That’s why it makes sense to pack a “bug-out bag,” a sturdy suitcase (hard-sided rolling luggage works well) filled with some emergency supplies, water, food, and a seven-day supply of any medications you’re taking. Be sure to regularly rotate out your medications so they don’t expire in your emergency kit.
In the Car
If it’s safe to travel, your car may be your lifeline in a disaster. To get ready for a worst-case scenario, you can pack another emergency kit for your car. This one should be focused on automotive items like maps, flashlights, jumper cable, flares, and a toolkit. You can also pack some food and a first aid kit as well as a few clothing items, a warm jacket, some cash, and some blankets. You can update these items depending on the season; in the summer, you’ll want to include sunscreen, extra water, and warm-weather clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
A Family Communication Plan
When disaster strikes, it’s important to maintain open lines of communication. Meet with family and friends to talk about what you’re going to do in an emergency. You can even get others in your neighborhood involved; the more people available to help, the better. Make a laminated paper list of contact information for the people in your group and keep it in your wallet or purse so you can get in touch with them if you need to. Also include the addresses of local shelters in case you need to evacuate. If you will need assistance to leave your home, pick a few people who live nearby that can help get you to safety. Make sure they know where your emergency kits and supplies are located so they can get you out of the house quickly if the worst should happen. You can even try to organize a monthly preparedness drill to ensure everything goes smoothly when a real disaster strikes.
Natural disasters can be dangerous for anyone and older people are even more vulnerable, especially those living with limited mobility and other health problems. If you’re a senior living on your own, it just makes sense to make a plan for emergencies. There are plenty of steps you can take to be more prepared, so follow the tips listed above and do some research on your own for more ideas. Of course, making the transition to a senior living community can be a great way to ensure you’ll be safer in case of a disaster, and that you’ll always have access to medical care right nearby. To find out more about Summerset Senior Living and our disaster preparedness procedures, give us a call at (916) 619-0494 to get a free brochure or to schedule a tour of our communities in Lincoln, CA and Rancho Cordova, CA.